Arundhati Movie Review— B-Grade Horror Masala All The Way!

mrinkenti3So the other day I finally see the film all Telugu film critics on their websites are raving about calling it a “magnum opus”, “extravaganza” and so on. I too loved the trailer and went for the first day first show on 14th January, 2008 only to know that the show is cancelled. The movie released on Friday and I saw it in Prasadz, second row from the bottom all geared up to enjoy the special effects, horror, thrill, and sound right under the nose of the characters (it’s a Rs 100 for even this absurd location in a multiplex—reason strong enough to bring about Multiplex Reforms). Agreed, the film is a hit, but I expected more as Arundhati is nothing more than a B-grade, not sleazy though, full fledged commerical horror masala film that, however, engages you, but is no value addition to the genre it belongs to.

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

arundhati_poster1The present day Arundhati (Anushka) is a girl born to a royal family that treates her like a princes. She is about to be married when the spirit of Gadwal’s coffin is broken and it is set loose. The spirit brings her to Gadwal to take it’s revenge on her. Arundhati, the modern Hyderabadi she is, obviously doesn’t fall for such stories, but is forced to beleive when she sees and hears people and sounds she should not in their dilapidated mansion. The local fakir who is the consultant on all maters spooky (Shivaji Shinde) senses danger for her and asks to leave town. Arundhati asks her grandmother-like care taker to tell her about the old mansion. The story is about Pasupathi (Sonu Sood) who is a sex-maniac, womaniser, drunkard, and abusively violent. Married to young Arundhati’s (three generations  back) elder sister, he does hideous acts and in one instance cuts the jacket of Arundhati’s blind dance teacher, stabs her twice, rapes her with as she is breathing her last with blood all over. Young Arundhati sees this and swears revenge on him and when her sister commits suicide she orders him to be beaten and thrown out of the village. Pashupati joins with a band of agohras (cannibals type people), learns tantric, and becomes a monster and returns on the day of Arundhati’s marriage. On seeing the beautiful and fully grown up Arundhathi, he falls for her and wants to rape her too, but then a big fight ensues and he is buried alive by Arundhati. However there is danger of him returning and if he returns as the soul of the dead body then he is unstoppable. He can only be stopped if Arundhati sacrifices himself, and a weapon is made with her bones to kill Pashupati. This is the first half. The second half, that moves at full-spped, is all about finding this weapon and killing Pashupati for good.

[/END OF SPOILERS]

The story telling all happens in the first half and the second half is one big fast chase to the finish with no interestingarundhati_poster2 twists or turns. It is one big rape story of a sex starved spirit. Honestly, the effects are nothing to boast about. You’ve seen these in Ammoru too and Anji was better. The highlight of the enterprise is Anushka’s performance as the powerfull, strong, and iron willed Arundhati who is hailed as Jejemma—the land’s Goddess who vaniquishes evil. The sarees she wears, the big bindi, the jewelry, the ferocious look in her eyes have all suited her well as though she was meant to play this role. However, her dances are awkward and laughworthy and as the present day Arundhati she is just ordinnary. Sonu Sood as usual is handsome, but it is his dubbing voice by P Ravi Shankar that is the highlight. Nope, nothing iconic like laka laka laka here. In fact, the entire second half is dominated by the dubbing artist’s voice. There are plenty of rape references, a gory, bloody rape and murder scene, loads of horror/freak scenes, pots of blood flying around, possessed people, references to spirits and the occult as though it was for real. Parents be forewarned.

To the film’s credit, it is engaging and that is it’s winning card. After a really long long gap, we have a Telugu film that is a high voltage drama and gripping with all commercial elements–from rape to spirits–to make it a sure shot hit. However, personally for me, I was disappointed as the film does not raise the standard either in terms of special effects or the story. Looks like the producer, Shyam Prasad Reddy, who was depressed after Anji‘s failure (read his interview on idlebrian.com) decided to go for an all out commercial product where he can get the bang for his buck. And he succeeds. There is nothing new or innovative about this ghost’s story and for me this is disappointing. There is no new concept, nothing that is discussion-worthy, no suspence element either. Audience will lap up anything that is shown in an engaging way, even trash. It is all the more disappointing because our Telugu film websites were writing that the film is path breaking in terms of content and presentation. It is sad that such a B-grade film is considered to be a top-class film; the reality is this is how low the standards of Tollywood are today. Just wait to watch it in Hindi dubbing and you will see how B-grade the film is. Anyways, watch it as there is nothing else as engaging as Arundhati right now for the Tollywood box-office.

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: One Thumb Up! B-grade story content and presentation, but engaging. The posters will entice you anyway so just go for it.

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33 Comments »

  1. coffeemugandsnacks said

    This is the only review i found highlighting the negative aspects more than the positive aspects! The movie is awesome and a must watch!

  2. Tarun said

    I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Inkenti’s review. I am glad that there is at least somebody who can write and speak for what a movie is really worth. Agreed, it is engaging and gripping, but really what is the point? why such a gory rape scene? I agree, the film is a B-grade film and should any person, other than Telugus watch this, they will puke at Tollywood.

    it is not pathbreaking because it does not take the standards of Tollywood any higher. It merely reaffirm’s the gross taste of Telugu film makers and proves that Tollywood’s standards, story or technique, can never be raised up. Gamyam was a rare treat I guess.

  3. JoyLynford said

    auushka acted pretty well. the movie is excellent and its better then makers in bollywood. i bet this movie will be remake in bollywood and your take on this movie will be totally different at that time

  4. Dearbloke said

    i dont know how you can say that the movie is a B-grade movie,have you seen the technical crew and cast ,all are National award winners,especially Shyam Prasad Movies are always National award gainers,such raw finest talents,you must be blind enough. how can review a Prestigious movie as a B-grade movie,yes i know that you must be that kind of Mass Audience who needs Double-meanings and ,Exposing.i think you have very wrong idea of what A-grade movie. Masses they like Mumaith khan ,Silksmitha,you are the one who thinks their inclusion makes movie A-grade,but you think( Soundarya in) Ammoru ,and (Anushka in) Arundhati are B-grade movies,Stupid Fellow Just Tell me wheter There Was any reveiw against Arundhati,even the Critics have been Thrilled,saying its an achievment in Telugu Film Industry and will be a milestone.I think people who talk negatively should be pelted with stones .

  5. Dearbloke said

    Just show me one such review which supports or similar or parallel to your review,at least one review.Do you know that this movie was shot by two directors but the first one who directed couldnot live upto Shyam prasad (the Producer)expectations,so he changed the Director,Nowadays How many Producers are so dedicated that they they do everything from scratch and spend so much of Money and valuable time of 2 years,i think it was B.N.Reddy was the one who in Vintage telugu Cinemas was dedicated and sincere.Anyways ,i am very much irritated ,angry about your review,so you deserve this kind of response.

  6. ramana said

    yes i agree with him,but frankly speaking the weapon making scene is excellent which is shot by second unit dop bhasker samala.

  7. ramana said

    and he did shot 40 percent of the film he is the dop for krishna vamsi latest film “sasirekha parinayam” and shekhar suri” three”.

  8. Raj said

    man, you are such a wanna’ be…

    take it easy dude. I have been living in US and have been watching all kinds of movies of all languages, races, caste and creed…and i thought this movie was brilliant and deserves a major pat for makers who made it and it must be a proud moment for india to show case this movie…

    i really think…Arundhati and Ghajini should be showcased proudly by india as 2009 indian cinema.

    Best of luck

  9. Serenity said

    I somehow dont agree with this review. It’s not about the story, if you see some of the hollywood flicks like Harry Potter, blah blah, what story you have in those? and what is the point in those? A movie has to be viewed for entertainment purposes, you dont wanna watch out for points, morals etc.,
    I find this movie really amazing, after watching so many Hollywood, tollywood and bollywood flicks. The most amazing aspect is, it’s gripping, the director maintains the fear aspect till the end. And that’s an amazing direction. Ofcourse the techinical side is too good, especially considering it’s an Indian movie, not a Hollywood one (dont forget we dont have that much budget as Hollywood movies). You need to feel proud of that techincal awesomeness the film portrayed within the low budget man.
    And yes rape scene is gory, but it doesnt mean it’s a B class movie, I feel the rape scene was shown that gorily to justify the villain’s character and the story overall, how bad he is and that’s what made him a powerful aghora.

    5 Thumbs-up to this movie! That’s all I can say.

  10. Dipysred said

    Hi,

    I can agree to few points such as…anuskha’s dance could have been better and the story is pretty much old-hat.I also dint feel that rape scene had to be so gory.

    But the movie, inspite of these, is very good. The graphics in this movie are spread across the movie unlike in Anji (which you have said is better) where its just one scene. ofcourse its good but Arundhati’s are equally good if not better.

    I know this movie could have been improved even more but calling as a B-Grade is being a little too harsh and cynical.

    May be watching it from the second row in Imax doesnt do it justice. Why dont you see it from a little far away and check if there is a difference?

  11. Rajendra said

    I somewhat agree with the review. I watched this movie in a good theatre. There are good effects, but it could have done for a better theme. Second half movie is boring and Anushka is not a good fit as heroine. Too much voilence, blood ..But Shyam Prasad Reddy should be appreciated for the movie making skills. I hope he will make good movies with good graphics for Kids. Chandamama stories can be goode.

  12. santosh nag said

    i agree with all people who have admired and supported the film crew and and the film.:)its really superb.

  13. satish kumar said

    i don’t agree with this review saying that it is B grade masala movie.Technically
    it is simply superb.The rape scene is to show the villain’s cruality.Please encourage the producers,directors to make something different movies.In tollywood recently there have not been such movies.I really appreciate Mr.syam prasad reddy for his bravy attempt.Although there are no star cast except anushka,regular mass masala comedy,duets,fights the film won’t get you bored.

    one more thing i want to say this film’s budget is 13 crores only but it is made rich and technically sound.

    I pity you.don’t write any review now onwards.

    the highlights in this movie i fee

    :the weapon making
    aghora men’s scene

    hats offv to syam prasad reddy.just 13 crores!a wonderful movie.
    if u r given 1300cr then how will be the movie.

    Tollywood is growing.many films are being remade by other industries recent times.keep going.

  14. satish kumar said

    din’t u see any rape scene ever in indian cinema.why did u saying rape scene,rape scene.

    You sy it B grade movie.then what is A-class movie.heroine- bikini -introduction or
    heroes -pretending-gays or lip to lip kisses or loving other’s wife or hot scenes b/w hero heroine or anything else.

    all telugu films critics are raving about it “magnimous opus”.it is right.telugu film critics are not saying every movie like this.they always criticise if it don’t have worth.

  15. kaushik said

    very good horror movie.I have never seen such a movie in Tollywood. The 1st scene itself starts with horror and the acting is excellent. Its a very good thrilling movie and watch this in a good theater to be thrilled.

  16. Surya said

    Check my opinion on my blog:

    “…Enjoy the movie…but be cautious of accepting what you see. To me, this movie is a pseudo-fantasy thriller. We should reject regressive influences of such movies. I am not saying reject the movie…I am saying do not accept everything you see. Know and be conscious of what you should reject in the movie. Enjoy responsibly! Make no mistake about it…Arundhati is a great ride….still.”

  17. Lakshmipriya Arunkuamr said

    we enjoyed this movie.
    Fantastic horror movie

    A big applause and Great Thanks to Reddy and Mallemala Entertainments.

  18. Lakshmipriya Arunkuamr said

    I liked Arundathi(Anoushka’s) performance

    Very big ‘O’ for her

  19. shaulla said

    Arundhati is really super movie. I liked Anushka performed at arundhati is superly

  20. ashok said

    Mr. Inketi…. this is very good and genuine review….. i also feel the same… this movie is such a “B” GRADE MASS MASALA Movie…. i hate so many scenes in this movie… especially the rape scene…. this is really brutal…. this shows the director attitude and uneducated nature…. really this scene is agony….. i really feel v much irritation, feel v bad….. when im watching this movie on screen…..

    Other aspects story concept/object is really senseless…. graphics is ok…. not too good…. and the quality of the frame is ordinary….

    final verdict: THIS IS “B” GRADE MASS MASALA MOVIE…. FAMILY AUDIENCE PLEASE DONT WATCH THIS FILM…..

  21. sree said

    I am very much in line with you.. the movie is B Grade
    worse one yaar.. camera work is bad no proper focus, story lol
    mistakes plentyful

    i doubt if Anshuka atleast spoke for 20 mins in the whole movie??

  22. kishore said

    I too had the exact feelings, after a came out from the cinema hall. Top notch performances, good graphics at some places, mediocre at some. Mindless Illogical, insance story.

  23. Siva said

    If this is a B-Grade film, bollywood doesn’t produce any a grade films anymore. All the movies produced there are filled with obscene. Much more than what Arundhati had. People who are biased on the film industry don’t need to comment on them, coz, biased mind will never accept the truth, Arundhati is the biggest blockbuster in 2009 until now. The much hyped family entertainers have bombed miserably.

    People cannot expect tollywood, you never know which movie would be a blockbuster. Its the specialty of the audience here. You cannot just make a fluke here. The hard work put by the makers has never gone waste in tollywood.

    Get on mates, grow up. No personal opinion would take Arundhati out of the theaters, It is the movie i would still opt if anyone asks me for a movie till May.

  24. shiv said

    I agree this is B grade masala movie.
    For those that are offended by it, please understand the definition of B grade movies.
    B grade = direction is not classy. film is not a value add to the genre. focus is fully on engaging masses.

    It was engaging, yes, and interesting to watch.

    but dont compare to international films, please.
    Every year in the US, about 20 films like this kind of grade release, and the average review here is maximum C (fair).
    Such movies are not bad, but they are made with the purpose of watching lightly and enjoying. No analysing, etc.

    For indian audience and masses, this is really good, but we have to stop saying that this will be taking us to international level.

  25. dinesh said

    the film was very good and chanceless to say the acting of anushka and the character of willan is pretty good……..no more words to say about this film….very very veru goooooooooooooood…saying thanks to the director to give such film.

  26. manissha said

    hey on a honest comment

    i would seriously recommend all of you who have seen this movie only once to see it with your eyes wide open. several times…… mr….inki(wateva ur name is ???)how could you ever call it a B grade movie??? it is seriously one of the
    beeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssstttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt movie ever..wat about the rape scene????they did it to show that the villain was a sex-maniac. so how else could the director’s have proved it ????? and his cruel nature ofcourse…..and anushka(damn pretty) has done a extremely good job……welll the movie was a super duper hittt….i jus loved the movie and Pasupathy(sonu sood((very very handsome)) has done a gr8 job 2………hats off to SONU SOOD………in fact he was very apt for tht role and nobody else could have done a seriously good job other than him……………thanks to the director….i jus loved your movie……….honestly speaking i went to the theatre to see your movie 15 times…..(i swear)….

  27. naveen said

    a great horror movie and a enjoyable movie

  28. tirupati said

    it is 1 f the awesum movie i hv ever seen in south history…. its a gr8888888 movie … deres no words to express abt the movie… hand f to director nd specially kailash kher who sang a gorgeous nd heart touching song….. gr88888

  29. mithu reethi said

    i agree with satish kumar. it is idiotic to say arundhati as a b grade flic. no one would be so stupid. 😦

  30. neti said

    I think it is B-Grade movie too. Anuskha was pretty bad in second half.
    She did a great job as Jejamma but second role — she was just grunting and crying all through, no “pourshamu” of first one as she is re-incarnation of Jejamma.

    It is not intelligent at all – very run of the mill stuff.
    In second half all they do is – running around aimlessly and no support from any other characters. Pretty ridiculous.

    Effects are good for an Indian movie. It is good movie but not excellent.

  31. M Raghavan said

    I am seeing this movie for a 2nd time after its release a year ago. It is worthwhile, despite its relatively dull computer graphics. Anushka is stunning as Jejama, but is irritatingly weak in her role as the modern Arundhathi. I would recommend this film as good Saturday afternoon “popcorn” cinema, on the scale of Anji.

  32. Teja said

    Anushka did an excellent job,she has proved herself..
    That’s Amazing…..

  33. Chetan said

    The first half was excellent. But the second half was aimless. Scenes were artificially created to complete the story. Although, Anoushka was marvelous in her Jejamma’s role. But, the reincarnation was a bore act. Sonu Sood was brilliant as Pasupathi. The makeup was excellent throughout the film.

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